Christchurch is a welcoming, busy and loving church and community centre in the heart of Ilkley.
The location of All Saints was originally the site of the Roman fort of Olicana. It has been a place of continuous Christian worship since about 627AD. Although the legions may have departed more than 1,400 years ago, they left their imprint on the town and on the earliest church with the original building being constructed out of stone from the abandoned Roman fort. In 1925 two window arches from the original church, carved from two Roman Altar stones, were brought into the church after being discovered built into the tower during excavations at the time.
The three fine Anglo Saxon cross shafts, since 1983 housed within the church building, are further testament to an early Christian presence at this location. The church is first mentioned in Domesday in 1086. The oldest part of the present building is the 13th century south doorway, the nave dates from the 14th century while the tower dates from the 15th century. The church was restored and extended in the 1860s, as the town’s popularity as a visitor attraction grew with the development of the hydropathic spas. It still retained its medieval gothic style and became Grade II* listed in 1949.
We hope that visitors to Ilkley will come to visit the church, the oldest building in the town.
We are proud custodians of the rich heritage visible in the fabric of this building, and as lived through the lives of the people who have worshipped here through the centuries. New information boards and multimedia displays that tell the story of the church and the important part it has played in the development of Ilkley from the time of the Romans to the present day. The new link between the church and church house is framed by a glass passageway displaying an illustrated timeline of the church’s role in the history of the town.